Govt urged to set up fertilizer plant fund

Mr. Ernest Osei-Assibey(fifth,right) addressing the workshop

Mr. Ernest Osei-Assibey(fifth,right) addressing the workshop

The Northern Regional Secretary of Ghana Agri-Input Dealers Association (GAIDA), Mohammed Mahmoud, has asked government to establish a fertiliser plant fund, to reduce cost of importation of the product, which is a drain to the economy.

He explained that the call was as a result of recent complaints from some farmers in the Northern Region, regarding potency and efficacy of some fertilizer products sold to them.

“There has been persistent complains by farmers in relation to the yield of some fertiliser products, and have threatened to stop purchase of those fertiliser products if nothing is done about the situation,” Mr Mahmoud stressed.

He made the suggestion at a day’s workshop to engage stakeholders in the agriculture sector to advocate the establishment of a fertilizer plant fund, in Accra.

The event was organised by the Northern Regional branch of GAIDA, on the theme:  ‘Advocacy for the establishment of the plant and fertiliser fund as provided in the Plant and Fertiliser Act 2010, Act 803’.

Mr Mahmoud said the event provided a platform to acquire and disseminate information on safe, effective and efficient use of agri-input as well as finance research and investigation relating to sale of fertiliser.

He said the establishment of the fund will prevent fake and adulterated fertiliser products adding “we plead with the Parliamentary Select Committee on Agriculture to hasten the pace of capturing the PFF under the consolidated fund, which is part of Act 208 of the Plant and Fertiliser Act, Part Four.

Mr Mahmoud said “Parliamentary Select Committee on Agriculture should, therefore, work to clear all bottlenecks impeding the implementation of Act 803”, and appealed to the government to equip fertiliser research organisations to enable them to continue their oversight role on both standards and quality.

Ernest Osei- Assibey, Senior Agriculture Officer, Head, Analytical Unit Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD), said the act had been considered by the government and would be operational in 2019, to  carry out continuous research on standards of fertiliser imported into the country.

By BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY

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